Customized Ecommerce Meets 3-D Printing in Amazon's New Online Store

Customers can design and create their own products in a new online shop announced by the Seattle-based ecommerce giant today.

learn more about Catherine Clifford

By Catherine Clifford • Jul 7, 2014 Originally published Jul 7, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Desperately seeking a bobble head doll that looks just like your friend or frenemy?

Thanks to developments in 3-D printing and the ever expanding reach of Amazon, you can have one delivered to your doorstep.

The ecommerce giant has just launched an online store where customers can design 3-D printable toys, jewelry, home decor and other sorts of miscellaneous tchotchkes. For example, you can customize your own 3-D printable bobble head dolls. Amazon isn't actually making the products; the objects will be created by one of several third-party 3-D printing companies. (If you're particularly intrigued by the bobble heads, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Mixee Labs makes them.)

Related: This Gadget Will Let You 3-D Print in Nutella

Customers will be given templates for a range of products and then have the option of tinkering with the color, design and other elements. The goods can range anywhere from about $40 to $100.

The new online store is at the intersection of two emerging trends: personalization of the shopping experience and an explosion of the adoption of and use of 3-D printing technology. Not only does 3-D printing make possible personalized bobble head dolls -- which, make no mistake, we think are cool -- but from a corporate perspective, 3-D printing is overhauling the way that products are prototyped, tested and manufactured.

Related: This Company Makes 3-D Printed Headphones That Perfectly Fit Your Ears

"When you take into consideration the investment needed for manufacturing products, 3-D printing offers a cost effective alternative that benefits customers by limitless product options," said Clément Moreau, co-founder of 3-D printing company and Sculpteo, in Amazon's announcement of the news.

The customization shop is not Amazon's first step into the 3-D printing market. In March, the Seattle-based ecommerce juggernaut dipped its toe into the space with a small marketplace for customers to buy nifty consumer goods made through 3-D printing.

With 3-D printing emerging as an industry that could revolutionize American manufacturing, companies are cashing in. Staples and MakerBot have each taken recent steps to make 3-D printers more accessible to the average consumer and one company in Canada has even created a device that will let you 3-D print in Nutella.

Related: No Sci-Fi Here: Your Own Personal Robot Is Coming

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This Co-Founder Was Kicked Out of Retailers for Pitching a 'Taboo' Beauty Product. Now, Her Multi-Million-Dollar Company Sells It for More Than $20 an Ounce.
Have You Ever Obsessed Over 'What If'? According to Scientists, You Don't Actually Know What Would Have Fixed Everything.
Most People Don't Know These 2 Things Are Resume Red Flags. A Career Expert Reveals How to Work Around Them.
Business News

Massive Fire At Top Egg Farm Leaves Estimated 100,000 Hens Dead. What Does This Mean For Egg Prices?

Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut went up in flames on Saturday in an incident that is still under investigation.

Business News

These Two Cars Are Stolen So Often Insurance Won't Cover Them

Progressive and State Farm have dropped some older Hyundai and Kia models after learning that a design flaw makes them easy to start without a key.

Business Solutions

5 Procurement Trends To Keep on Your Radar for 2023

Procurement professionals must adapt to inflation and a shortage of skilled labor in the face of an economic recession. Investing in a workforce paired with retraining and development strategies will put your company on top amid economic uncertainty.

Business News

Out With the Kibble and In With the Steak. The World's Richest Dog Has a Net Worth of $400 Million – And a New Netflix Docuseries Too

'Gunther's Millions' is set to unpack the pooch's mysterious fortune and what those around him have done with his inheritance.

Business News

'This Just Can't Be for Real': Fyre Festival Fraudster Billy McFarland is Now Hiring For His New Tech Company -- And He's Already Selling Merch

McFarland was released from house arrest last September and is currently being ordered to pay $26 million in restitution to fraud victims.